15-minute stretch before bed to wind down from screen time | well+well

B.At the end of the day, you’ve probably spent hours upon hours sitting and staring at a screen. Whether it’s a computer for work, a smartphone for breaks, or TV for relaxation, your body has been bending, protruding, and rounding to accommodate the needs of your eyeballs.

Sitting can take a toll on the body when it comes to cardiovascular health and mortality, which is one of the reasons why taking breaks is so important. But your body also has more immediate needs. Sitting can compress the lower back, tighten the hip flexors, shorten the hamstrings, and round and put pressure on the shoulders and neck.

“The neck and back are meant to move, and when we sit all day in a static position, this increases the risk of muscle strain,” ISSA-certified personal trainer Nick Topel told Well+Good.

In addition to frequent breaks and movement, a bedtime stretch is just what the doctor ordered. In this 16-minute series, East River Pilates instructor Brian Spencer walks you through, in his words, some “delicious” stretches to do before bed.

Spencer spends about the first half of the video relieving and loosening the muscles in her neck and shoulders. He will be surprised how much he needed these neck tilts and shoulder rolls when he does them. A few wrist stretches complete the upper body of the series to relieve tendons from the strain of scrolling or typing all day.

For the second half of the video, the lower body and spine take center stage. You’ll start with downward facing dog, from which you’ll move on to calf and hip stretches. Next, sit back on the floor as you extend your hamstrings and release your hip flexors and inner thighs. Finally, Spencer helps you create space in your spine through spinal twists and ultimately a plow pose, if you’re up for it.

In the end, your body will definitely be more relaxed, but don’t be surprised if your mind is also more ready for bed. Stretch out and sleep well!

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